Feeling tired has become such an accepted state of being in modern society that many of us instantly bypass it when asked how we’re feeling today. We’re all tired, so why not skip to another adjective to paint a picture of how we are actually feeling?
However, feeling tired doesn’t have to be a given. Nor does your morning cup of coffee have to be essential; it can be something you enjoy instead, or even give up altogether.
Apart from the obvious need to sleep, enjoying good sleep can give you a more energetic feeling and leave you with healthier looking skin. How often after a period where you have enjoyed good sleep does someone comment on how much better you look and ask what changes you’ve made to your lifestyle?
To some, the best thing about feeling more energetic and looking better is the knock-on effect this can have on your confidence, which in turn might bring benefits to both your professional and personal life.
What can you do to get yourself on the right path to ensuring every night delivers a good night’s sleep?
It is often said that hydration is the starting point for an all-round healthy lifestyle, and it certainly rings true that correct hydration can help you to achieve a good night’s sleep.
While many health guides recommend waking up and starting the day with a litre of water, if you ensure you are adequately hydrated before heading to bed this becomes less of a necessity. Many people feel lethargic when waking up even if they’ve had several hours of undisturbed sleep; this is often because a lack of hydration has prevented their bodies from carrying out its overnight “repairs” effectively.
Though taking on water first thing in the morning is a good habit to follow, drink up before you go to sleep to avoid overnight dehydration knocking you for six as soon as you wake up.
How often is this phrase applied to all aspects of life?
You can sleep for 8 hours a night, but if they’re disturbed, or you’ve been drinking alcohol, or haven’t had enough water before going to bed, they’re being wasted from a body function point of view. Our bodies are hard wired to do most of its repairs between 10pm and 2am, so while you don’t need to stick diligently to a 10pm bedtime it is certainly recommended you try to get to sleep not long afterwards.
Ensure you’re getting quality sleep rather than putting all your focus on how much sleep you’re getting. Even if you don’t need much sleep, making sure you get six hours of quality sleep a night has the potential to make you feel like a whole new person.
Follow the tips in this guide to help you get a good night’s sleep, but help yourself by getting to bed at a reasonable hour.
Cuddling up in bed with a loved one, or even a close friend, helps to release “feel good” chemicals in your brain and helps to start your sleep in the best possible way. Whether this outweighs anything that occurs after falling asleep, from snoring to aggressive tossing and turning, is for you to decide, though you may be one of the lucky ones who has a partner that sleeps peacefully right through until the morning.
If you consume caffeine at all, it is best to refrain for at least six hours before going to bed. If you can’t put the coffee cup down before this then you’re almost guaranteeing a restless night’s sleep. When it comes to alcohol, while it may help you nod off, it will also disrupt your period of REM sleep – when you dream the deepest – and leave you feeling drowsy the next day. Alcohol also dehydrates you, which as we’ve said earlier isn’t a good state for quality sleep.
Instead of caffeine and alcohol, find yourself a caffeine-free herbal tea that you can consume in the evenings before heading to bed. Many tea brands now even do a specific “night time tea” specifically designed for consumption in the evening.
While today’s smartphones and tablet devices have apps and “night time” features that remove the blue light from their displays, the best way to ensure you get a good night’s sleep is to ensure your devices are switched off completely, or at least in flight mode and out of the way. Put your mobile devices away, switch off the TV, and dim the lights at least an hour before bedtime, and you’ll quickly start to feel the difference in your sleep quality.
Put these ideas into practice in the coming days and weeks and you’ll soon begin to notice the difference. Even after a few days of being properly hydrated before bed and staying off your phone before bedtime, you’ll start to feel a lot better and wake up looking and feeling a whole lot better.
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